Scientists have built an “emotionally intelligent” electric car
that aims to keep people over 65 on the roads for longer.
Fitted with a range of devices from eye-tracking goggles to
biometric technology that monitors heart rates and
cardiovascular health, the modified Peugeot iOn will monitor
drivers’ concentration, stress levels and driving habits. It is
hoped the findings will pave the way for new technology that
will instill confidence in drivers over 65 and keep them safely
on the road for longer.
Scientists at Newcastle University developed the technology
called ‘Granny-Nav’ and created the so-called ‘Drivelab’ as part
of a wider research project that comes amid concern for the
safety of elderly drivers. Statistics suggest they are one of
the highest-risk groups for injury or death on Britain’s roads.
There are now up to six million licence-holders over 70,
compared with fewer than a million 35 years ago.
The findings may eventually lead to a range of new
technologies to help elderly motorists. They include sensors
that assist with parking blind spots, ‘forward-facing radars’
that warn drivers how close they are to other vehicles, as well
as ‘heads up’ dashboard displays projected on to the windscreen.
The group will also research new satellite navigation technology
that is more suitable for over-65s.